Investigators admit using wrong blueprint to show N. Korean torpedo that attacked Cheonan
By Kim Deok-hyun
SEOUL, June 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military investigators admitted Tuesday they had "mistakenly" shown the wrong blueprint of the type of North Korean torpedo they said sank a South Korean warship when they announced their probe results in a nationally televised briefing last month.
They said the life-sized blueprint shown at the news conference on May 20 was of a PT-97W torpedo, not the CHT-02D midget torpedo that sank the Cheonan warship.
The investigators called the incident a "mistake by a working-level staff."
"As basic structures of the two torpedoes, CHT-02D and PT-97W, are the same, the working-level official had made a mistake," said an official on the investigation team.
Officials said the staff had picked the wrong blueprint when enlarging it to make it life-sized for the briefing.
The admission came during a public briefing to a group of journalists and TV producers on the probe results, part of the government's ongoing efforts to dispel any doubts about the findings that blamed North Korea for the attack on Cheonan. A journalist had asked questions about the blueprint, according to people who were at the briefing.
A team of international experts concluded last month that a stealthy North Korean submarine had infiltrated South Korean waters in the Yellow Sea and fired the heavy torpedo, downing the Cheonan and killing 46 sailors who were trapped inside the 1,200-ton patrol ship as it tore in two.
The investigation team plans to present a final report on the Cheonan probe by the end of this month.
Calling the Seoul-led investigation a "sheer fabrication," North Korea demands that the South allow its own investigators to verify the results of the probe.
South Korea has refused to do so, saying the Cheonan incident should be handled by the U.N. Command's Military Armistice Commission, which oversees the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.